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preservation and persistence of the changing book

Workshops

“Feral Seminar:” Resilience of Book Transmission, Fall 2014

This is the best survey introduction to the cross-disciplinary investigation of prospects for the formats and functions of the book. We examine developments in book studies, current book technology and commerce, cognitive science of reading, library science, literary studies, and book art. This course will introduce principles and methods of book preservation providing a window on real practice in book transmission. Two specific specialties of book conservation and library preservation are surveyed at a moment of transformation as partitions of special and general collections, remote and local library access and print and screen books are redefined.

The course is suggested for those interested in academic book studies, media history, library collections care, and studio book arts. Students will experience crafts and technologies that enable book persistence into the future and will better understand current changes of library service.

This is a feral seminar; no credit and no enrollment. It will run for ten sessions in the fall, 2014. The seminar will meet in the University of Iowa Library Learning Commons on Thursdays, 2:00 to 3:30. Stay tuned….

“Book Preservation” (currently unscheduled)

This 3 credit hour, 16 session class will synthesize principles and practice of both book conservation and library preservation into an introduction to sustainable book access overall. University of Iowa Center for the Book

Current book transitions from paper to screen recall previous shifts of scroll to codex or manuscript to print yet the current shift is distinctively sudden. Book based research is changing rapidly and production of books is revolutionized. The future of books as a physical transmission medium is uncertain. Authors, publishers and information technologists are reacting and students of book studies, book arts and librarianship must gain perspective.

This course will introduce principles and methods of book preservation providing a window on real practice in book transmission. Two specific specialties of book conservation and library preservation are surveyed at a moment of transformation as partitions of special and general collections, remote and local library access and print and screen books are redefined.

The course is suggested for those interested in academic book studies, media history, library collections care, and studio book arts. Students will experience crafts and technologies that enable book persistence into the future and will better understand current changes of library service.

“Historical Printing: a seminar on letterpress transmission” (currently unscheduled)

This feral seminar course will introduce environments and experience of historical letterpress production. Sessions will provide practitioner lectures and extensive field experience. This seminar will be of interest to students in communications studies, media and book studies, social history studies and museum interpretation and education.

Field study sites include Iowa City letterpress studios, the Print Shop and Bindery in the Amana Colonies, the Iowa River Landing Print Shop at the Johnson County Historical Society Museum, the Linotype Museum in Denmark Iowa and the historical printing studio of the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Students will engage in skilled operations, individual research and class demonstrations. Explorative discussion will consider contexts of historical print production as pre-cursive to contemporary communications and digital publication. The class will explore communalities between present and past technologies such as the keyboard automation, image quality and delivery systems and technological transition.

“Structures for Book Conservation” 3-weeks, summer 2014

This workshop will provide a comprehensive study of five historical bookbinding structures and their relevant adaptive applications to book conservation treatment genres. This array of prototypes and methods will be integrated as a resilient book conservation practice.

The structures studied will include (1) late Antiquity and manuscript era unsupported, sewn board construction as widely adaptive to treatment of damaged letterpress texts, (2) 16th century wooden board supported sewing applied to early printed texts, (3) one-piece cover, laced-case prototype adapted to case construction rebinding of 18th to 19th century booklets, (4) later tight-joint, leather covered prototype studied as a negative exemplar, and (5) 18th century lapped component, paper cover, case construction prototype adapted to conservation binding. Specific treatment correlations will include sewing repair, resewing and reconstruction of cover-to-text attachment with focus on renewed mobility and functionality for current access routines.

Students will make and manipulate book structures and refine skills of examination, interpretation, reconstruction and rebinding with focus on safe, productive, elegant methods. Reference resources and methods documentation will be provided.

(Buffalo State College) projected

Semester based AIC Mentorship (per arrangement with instructor)

A one-on-one consultation guidance for AIC student Members intent on careers in book preservation. One hour a week.

Gary at the 1905 Linotype

Gary at the 1905 Linotype

Instructor for the Workshops

Gary Frost is an educator in book art and book conservation. He has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia University in New York and the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently the Conservator Emeritus for the Libraries at the University of Iowa.

Gary is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and has been been honored with the Banks Harris Award by the American Library Association and a lifetime achievement award by the Guild of Book Workers.

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